Being More Relaxed After Your First Baby

IMG_2165Motherhood is a funny thing. You have your first baby and you worry about everything. Milestones, boo-boos, parenting advice, nursing, when to wean, etc. The list goes on and on. Then, you have your second baby and things are not as serious. Sure, you still meet your baby’s needs and do everything you can to take care of them, but your level of anxiety is different. This has been true at least, for me. Here are some ways I’ve become more relaxed after my first baby.

Milestones

With my daughter, I was always worried about her being on time and reaching every important milestone. She couldn’t lift her head during tummy time when she should have been able to according to my pediatrician and family members. This put me in a state of worry. She seemed to be behind on her speech. Worried momma set in again. We had her speech evaluated. She was right where she should be and didn’t qualify for speech services. Guess what? She eventually could lift her head just fine after some more practice. With my son, I wasn’t concerned about milestones. I knew he would reach them when he should and wasn’t worried unless something seemed super late or off.

Crying

As a first-time mom who had suffered from anxiety in the past, I was always a mess when my daughter cried. I felt like I needed to stop her crying and when I couldn’t, I was hopeless. I rushed to her side when she cried in the night. If she was unhappy as a toddler, I was right there to fix everything. Fast-forward to my son, and things have been different. I realized babies just cry. If his needs were met and I had done all I could, it didn’t make me a hot mess to hear him cry a little. I actually let him fuss a little because I can’t always be right there when he needs me if I am taking care of his sister. Now don’t get me wrong, I still meet his needs and I don’t like to hear him upset. Mommy always wants to make things better, but I have learned to loosen up and not take it so personally.

Cleanliness

With my daughter, I never wanted her to be dirty. The slightest amount of slobber or spit-up, and we did a whole new outfit. She always had a bib on. For my son, I usually had a clean burp cloth handy, but I didn’t let his slobber or spit-up cause me to do a whole new load of laundry. I have learned that my house can’t stay pristine and perfect, and that’s okay. I hated for my daughter to crawl on dirty floors or ever pick-up lost Cheerios. Sometimes I catch my daughter feeding my son off the floor and I just let it go. Germs can’t all be bad, right? I still strive to keep my house very clean and always respond to messes when needed, but I am not as uptight as I once was.

So now that I’m having my third baby, I can’t help but wonder if I will be more relaxed. I love being my kids’ mom and I will do anything to take care of them and love them unconditionally. I’ve just realized that sometimes I need to chill out and take care of me, too.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana where she cleans, snuggles, and writes blogs.

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